Today is 'Earth Day' - Earth Day began in 1970 to promote awareness and appreciation for the world. The theme for Earth Day in 2021 is 'Restore our Earth'and so it seems a perfect time for us to plan some 'random acts of wildness' - Simple small changes to our lifestyle can collectively make a big difference and so today we are considering how each day during June we can take on an act of wildness; this could be simply holding our breakfast meeting outside in our bee-garden to making a change to a business practice; there is lots to plan and we will give an update next month... Everyone can get involved in this and you can find out more below on the Wildlife Trusts June challenge for #30 dayswild#
Our barn is busy with lots of new birds settling in - our latest flock of Hybrid hens have just arrived and our Quail will be here soon. We also have a lovely selection of Pure Breeds.... from little Sablepoots to giant Brahma. Gerald (our Brahma Cockerel) has been crowing louder than ever recently and I am sure he spied the girls arriving - however he will have to be patient as they are still a little young to join him (and its going to take us ages to choose which hens we want to keep!) We also had a flock of Silkie hens arrive, otherwise known as 'Chibbits' at Mantel Farm. This name is from the flock of hens inherited when we moved here - our son Bertie being just 4 at the time wasn't sure if the little fluffy brown Silkie was a chicken or a rabbit - so 'Chibbit' it was!
It's been lovely to welcome people back onto our farm for training courses and we were lucky to have fine weather for our first beekeeping, chicken keeping and pig keeping courses - it was a little chilly for a full hive inspection but the sun came out in the pig pen and we managed to make fantastic willow obelisks outside on our willow weaving morning. Coming up soon is our Solar Shed Course; a great way to find out how to bring a little bit of self-sufficiency to your garden, and our Herb and Edible Garden courses to help you get the most from your garden space.
With our best wishes from Kerry, Jason and all at Mantel Farm.
Find out how to build your own small/medium solar set up for an off-grid cabin, shed, workshop or vehicle...
This course aims to demystify and plainly explain solar electricity to those who want to know what goes on beyond the panel. You will be given practical demos and hands on experience. You will be shown how to calculate your energy needs and how to size a system. Where to find the parts and how not to pay more than you need to. If you don't have a project in mind it is still a good base for your solar curiosity.
We are really looking forward to welcoming Aaron to explain how a small scale solar system can be set up here; as even though we have solar panels supplying our house and barn we still have sheds and quail-pens where a solar system could supply power for heat lamps and lighting.
Although Varroa is known to be widespread, it continues to be one of the most serious pests faced by beekeepers and amendments to the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) Order 2006 came into force on the 21st April 2021 requiring all beekeepers and/or officials in GB to report the presence of Varroa in any of the hives that they manage. This amendment will contribute to the overall pest and disease surveillance work of the National Bee Unit and allow Great Britain to comply with the Animal Health Law which is necessary for future working relationships with the European Union.
A tick box will be introduced to BeeBase (the voluntary register for beekeepers managed by the National Bee Unit). An alternative way will be provided for those who do not wish to register on the BeeBase system. Details of this alternative system will be provided after the 21st April (there is no more info available at time of writing).
"Image Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright"
The Wildlife Trusts - 'All our lives are better when they're a bit wild'...
Join us in taking part in The Wildlife Trusts’ #30DaysWild challenge:
Take on the UK’s biggest nature challenge next month… The Wildlife Trusts are challenging us to do one ‘wild’ thing a day throughout June. Download your digital 30 Days Wild pack today , for everything you need to start planning your wild adventure this June! Taking part in 30 Days Wild has been proven to make you happier and healthier for months after, so it’s great for wellbeing as well as an excellent way to take on random acts of wildness!
The weather has been unseasonably cold and not great for smaller colonies...
One of our hives is considerably smaller than the other. We're not entirely sure whether it is the cooler weather or the queen herself who is keeping our poly hive colony from burgeoning as it should be given how well insulated it is.
We are considering donating a small amount of sealed brood to this colony to see if it encourages the colony to grow and help support the queen in laying more eggs. Often it is a lack of bees being able to aid the queen in her laying/feeding that causes such a slow down.
Conversely our cedar national hive appears to be doing much better. Upon our last inspection we saw several frames of sealed brood surrounded by larvae and eggs.
Our bees all benefitted nicely from the glut of pollen and nectar available from the plum trees we have here at the farm. Unlike previous years, we didn't get heavy wind or rain stripping this off prematurely.
All being well with the weather, we hope to check on them next week.
Amandas Beekeeping notes ...
Our newsletter is a little early this month so Amanda's news will be added to our website soon.
This email was sent from Mantel Farm to Mantel Farm | Mantel Farm, Henley Down, Catsfield, East Sussex, TN33 9BN, United Kingdom